Pragmatic language features of mothers with the FMR1 premutation are associated with the language outcomes of adolescents and young adults with fragile X syndrome

Jessica Klusek, Sara E. McGrath, Leonard J Abbeduto, Jane E. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Pragmatic language difficulties have been documented as part of the FMR1 premutation phenotype, yet the interplay between these features in mothers and the language outcomes of their children with fragile X syndrome is unknown. This study aimed to determine whether pragmatic language difficulties in mothers with the FMR1 premutation are related to the language development of their children. Method: Twenty-seven mothers with the FMR1 premutation and their adolescent/young adult sons with fragile X syndrome participated. Maternal pragmatic language violations were rated from conversational samples using the Pragmatic Rating Scale (Landa et al., 1992). Children completed standardized assessments of vocabulary, syntax, and reading. Results: Maternal pragmatic language difficulties were significantly associated with poorer child receptive vocabulary and expressive syntax skills, with medium effect sizes. Conclusions: This work contributes to knowledge of the FMR1 premutation phenotype and its consequences at the family level, with the goal of identifying modifiable aspects of the child’s language-learning environment that may promote the selection of treatments targeting the specific needs of families affected by fragile X. Findings contribute to our understanding of the multifaceted environment in which children with fragile X syndrome learn language and highlight the importance of family-centered intervention practices for this group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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